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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, overall interest in cruising has not waned — but the type of trip clients are seeking may be changing. A recent study by Riviera River Cruises sheds light on the current marketplace.
As part of its “Less Is More” promotional campaign, the U.K.-based river cruise line — which operates a dozen riverboats in Europe — discovered that 34% of past ocean cruisers are considering a river cruise instead this year. And of those, 79% are more likely to take a river cruise than an ocean cruise in 2021.
“In the past, there’s been little crossover between ocean and river cruising, with ocean cruising accounting for a significantly larger share of the market,” said Marilyn Conroy, Riviera’s executive vice president of sales and marketing for North America, in a press release. “Right now, however, we feel there’s an opportunity to showcase the benefits of river cruising to that audience, which previously may have discounted this form of travel.”
Specifically, the study found that for 84% of those sampled, fewer fellow guests was an important factor in their river cruising preference, and for more than 50%, being docked at a daily destination was a crucial consideration.
To those points, Riviera’s spacious vessels carry only 121 to 169 passengers, and there are no sea days on the line’s itineraries, with trips maximized for in-depth touring including frequent late stays or overnights in port.
“Our intent is to highlight that river cruising shares many of the aspects of cruise travel [that clients] love with additional benefits that address some of the concerns they may have about ocean cruising when ships begin to sail again,” Conroy said. “They don’t have to look away from cruising altogether — instead, they can look toward rivers as a fantastic alternative.”
Altogether, Riviera offers 20 itineraries along 10 rivers and waterways, and several of its departures cater to solo travelers with zero single supplement. Focused on value, the line eschews hidden fees, and it does not automatically include gratuities or beverages so guests can make their own spending decisions.
The DetailsRiviera River Cruiseswww.rivierarivercruises.com